Nov 21, 2017

Black and White Chocolate Bar with Almonds and Freeze-Dried Strawberries

This is a similar recipe post from the earlier version of dark chocolate with candied violets and hazelnuts. Since all the candied violets brought from Vienna were gone (oh no), freeze-dried strawberries came into play

Black and white chocolate bar with almonds and freeze-dried strawberries - 





Ingredients?


  • 167.5 grams or 6 oz dark chocolate bar (I used 82% dark chocolate)
  • 25 grams white chocolate
  • 30 grams freeze-dried strawberries
  • 20 grams crushed roasted almonds (salted version even better)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream (optional)


How?


Transfer the freeze-dried strawberries to a Ziploc and gently smash them till breaking into smaller pieces.




Do the same with almonds, smash till whole nuts breaking into smaller pieces.


Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Use double boiler and melt the dark chocolate and the white chocolate separately. As for the white chocolate, if it can't melt nicely, try to add a tap of warm milk or heavy whipping cream then stir till incorporated. I used some skimmed milk for mine, not the best option but that was all I got in the fridge. As a result, my melted white chocolate looks a bit more diluted than usual.


Pour the dark chocolate into the baking dish first then drizzle the melted white chocolate over to form an irregular pattern. A medium baking dish should do the trick. Just make sure once pouring in melted chocolate, the thickness resembles chocolate bar instead of spreading to a thin layer. 


Garnish with crushed almonds and freeze-dried strawberries before the chocolate sets.



Transfer the baking dish to the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once ready, take out the chocolate bar and break or cut into smaller pieces.




Be creative with the toppings, it doesn't have to be freeze-dried berries. A more accessible fruity ingredient such as raisins and even figs can add a nice touch to the chocolate bar. Keep in mind that we are using bitter-ish dark chocolate and sweeter white chocolate, so which ingredient works better with these two?



Other dark chocolate bar recipe:


Nov 14, 2017

Maple Glazed Duck Breast (with Duck Fat Potatoes Side Dish)

One duck breast should be enough for two people, but if you would like to indulge a little, go for two duck breasts. Don't worry about the glaze, the portion for the glaze listed below should be just enough for two duck breasts. 

Maple glazed duck breast with some duck fat potatoes -





Ingredients (for two)?



  • 1 to 2 duck breast
  • 1 potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 lemon or other type of yellow citrus
  • 1/3 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Some salt 
  • Some freshly ground black pepper
  • Some freshly ground rainbow peppercorns (optional)
  • Some extra lemon zest (garnish)


Glaze:



  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Tiny pinch cayenne pepper powder (optional)


How?


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius. Line a baking dish or baking sheet with foil. 


Peel and dice the potato into tiny cubes. Peel and chop the onion into tiny squares too.


Mix all the ingredients under the "glaze" section and set aside for later use. 




Rest the duck breast in room temperature for about 10 minutes before cooking. Trim off any excess skin if desired. Score the skin crosswise but be careful not to cut through the meaty part. 


Season both sides with some salt and black pepper.




No need to drizzle any oil to the pan. Transfer the duck breast to the pan skin side down. Turn to medium high heat and slowly searing the skin till the fat starts to render. It'll take a few minutes. Sear till the skin turns brown and crispy, you can check the texture by poking with spatula and get a feel of it. 


Scoop out excess fat if needed, save that for other dishes or the potato side dish we're going to prepare later. 


Transfer the duck breast to the prepared baking dish, skin side up. Brush the skin with maple glaze then into the oven for about 5 minutes. Take out the baking dish and reapply the glaze again. Back to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Plus and minus few minutes depending on the thickness of the duck breast.


Once ready, remove the breast from heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.


While the duck breast is baking in the oven, use the residual duck fat to quickly put together a potato side dish.


Leave about 2 tablespoons amount of duck fat in the same pan and turn to medium heat. Add in onion along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Sear till the onion turns translucent.


Add in tiny potato cubes and sear till nearly reaches desired texture. Add some wine when the mixture appears too dry. Towards the end, add in the peas and cook for another minute or two. Taste and see if more salt is needed.


Plate the potato side dish first then transfer the duck breast slices over. Garnish with some freshly ground rainbow peppercorns and some lemon zest right before serving. 




Ideally, the center of the duck breast should be slightly pinkish for a softer bite. It might take a few practices till mastering that perfect timing. I kind of overcooked the one shown in the pictures but the glaze still made the duck tastes pretty good, like a maple syrup infused barbecue sauce slathered all over. 


Until the next perfectly cooked pinkish slices of meat, I am more than happy to devour trial and error duck breasts.



Other duck breast recipes: